「Reading Passage 1」
Bad for the Birds, Bad for All of Us
The essay begins with a rather straightforward statement that America’s declining bird populations are an early warning of much bigger ecosystem disruptions that would be consequential to the whole country. Warned by the decline, the author then points out that America should make more efforts to protect the habitats of birds—America’s farms and ranches. At this point, the author uses a technique—personification: the call for help and protection, as “(the birds)’re telling us that we need to do more. Paragraph Two specifies about the population plunge by naming two species, Eastern Meadowlark and Henslow’s Sparrow, which have suffered immense diminishing populations. The slumps are well substantiated by the alarming statistical facts as indisputable evidence.
The author remains optimistic in the face of the ecological adversity, as he sees “bright spots”. He points out that the rebounding local sub-population, exemplified by the tremendous growth in the Henslow’s Sparrows’ population, is credited to Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), and, by quoting a report and using diverse statistics—percentages, sizes and numbers, the author then recognizes the many other remarkable achievements of the farm bill CRP, such as encouraging landowners to adopt sustainable farming and breeding and expanding bird habitat. However, there is a turning of the situation, as the authors says the “gains are at risk” in the single-sentence Paragraph 6. Through the transition, the author moves to the crisis the farm bill faces, which are the political divergence and the political powers’ financial act that will lead to the serious shrinkage of conservation reserve lands.
2)我们自己的作文在分析的时候，可能分析作者的态度(remains optimistic)、论证方式(exemplify，quoting a report and using diverse statistics)、材料文的结构和脉络 (a turning of the situation, the transition, moves to)。
As is stated clearly, the influence of CRPs extends beyond the benefits for birds and to agriculture, as many CRPs promote and pay for the transitioning to sustainable agriculture. The author uses an example that water is cleansed and purified in which specific numbers are given to illustrate the benefit. Immediately, the author points out the current wide coverage of CRPs is however inadequate, since there are still a number of problems—the case of the plantings in the Corn Belt and the dreadful depletion of oxygen in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico as examples. Further, it is suggested that the 2013 farm bill plays a pivotal role in the existence of reserve programs of other types of lands and decides the federal government’s longtime dedication to farmland conservation. In Paragraph 12, it is suggested that the farm bill is much needed by American farms, and the high popularity of the bill is illustrated by the case that new landowner sign-ups for the funding typically exceed the governmental quota.